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Designer Feature Week DAY 3– Imogen Belfield

Over this week here, on the undeniably lovely Planet Notion, we have been interviewing fashion designers. Uncovering how they utilise their creative talent- releasing it into clothing (the greatest form of art). Today, we talk to Jewellery designer Imogen Belfield.

Imogen Belfield takes inspiration from her natural surroundings, borrowing form and shape. Since graduating from the Sir John Cass School of Art, Media and Design at The London Metropolitan University, Imogen’s stunning work has won awards from the British Jewellery Association, The Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths and the South Square Trust.

As well as pictures from her collection Imogen has shown us images of her original design sketches, enabling us to see more of her design process.

Planet Notion : How does an idea usually form in your mind? Are there clear steps you take such as creating mood boards, gathering images etc or do ideas formulate organically and spontaneously?

Imogen Belfield: I love collecting images, taking photographs and I am also an avid collector of rocks.

PN: How do you translate your vision into a realised garment?

IB: In the jewellery I create I aim to emulate natural rock formations and organic form, with a fusion of architectural geometry and angles.

PN: When designing what gives you your initial sparks of inspiration?

IB: I always start with a three dimensional form, and I then like to see how the form develops and evolves as I am making it. I have many projects on the go, and now I have a big box of little unfinished treasures and ideas. Most recently I found some amazing brass antiques in a market in the South of France, and I am longing to use these in a collection in the future.

PN: Can you describe the technical processes that go into creating your garments?

IB: I work a lot with carvings, engravings, mould making and casting processes.

PN: If you have many ideas how do you organise/mould these into a cohesive collection?

IB: The cohesive collection is a result of an on going process, through a continued development of techniques and use of materials. In my latest SS12 collection, it carries similar themes seen in my previous collections, but with a twist. This collection uses new materials that I hadn’t used before, which has brought an exciting edge to my work.

PN: Does your creative and design processes take a direction or do you feel they are random in nature? Does the idea of trying to add structure to your design process take away from your freedom of creativity?

IB: I don’t like my design process to be confined to a structured process, as I do think this would inhibit how the designs develop. Instead I like to start with an idea, go with it, let it change, evolve a bit more, change again, and then finally it starts to take shape and becomes the collection of sculptures I am happy with. So my work is an organic process through and through, in thought and in form.

PN: Pinpointing creativity is very difficult but what do you feel was your first moment of realisation? What made you become a fashion designer?

IB: It was when I realised I wanted to continue to create sculptures, like the pieces I created whilst studying Fine Art, but sculptures that could adorn and dress the body.

PN: Why do you feel your creativity is best expressed through clothing as a medium rather than any other form of design?

IB: I love the strength and indestructible nature of metal. It is a material that lasts through the ages, and with age and wear becomes even more beautiful.

PN: How far do you find the depth of the emotional attachment to your design work goes?  Can you view it as ‘work’ or is it more of an extension of your passion?

IB: I am most attached to me degree collection, because it represents a very special moment in time… a very exciting time, and where it all just began. By choice I have only sold one piece from my degree collection, the rest I am archiving.

PN: What are you trying to communicate with your designs?

IB: To create works of art for the body, a piece that strikes a cord with the wearer that allows them as a person to stand out, make a statement and to be bold.

See more of Imogen’s Jewellery here: www.imogenbelfield.com

-Kathryn Duncan

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